Familiarize yourself with shortness of breath

Anju Bisht

, Health A2Z


What does shortness of breath feel like? When you feel like gasping for air and still not able to breathe enough air. In medical terms, the condition is known as dyspnea. The condition often signifies the underlying health problem, where immediate doctor consultation is required.


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Symptoms of Shortness of breath


People with respiratory issues can have symptoms of dyspnea even with doing simple physical activity or when lying down. The symptoms that require immediate care are mentioned below.


Get the concern doctor’s help if shortness of breath is accompanied by the following other symptoms:


  • Swelled ankles and feet.
  • A feeling of not getting enough air when lying down flat.
  • Having fever, chills, and cough.
  • Feeling as if you can’t catch breathe even after resting for 30 minutes.
  • Whistling sound while breathing.
  • Lips or fingertips turning blue.
  • Previously existing breathlessness after using inhalers.


What is the most common cause of shortness of breath?


The problem of breathlessness is way too usual when climbing stairs, but it can be severe enough to create trouble with eating and talking. Lungs and heart conditions are the most common causes of this condition. How? Transportation of oxygen to tissues and removing carbon dioxide is carried out by the heart and lungs. So, any problem with either of the process can affect breathing.


According to the American Lung Association, the condition’s causes are discussed below in detail.

Acute shortness of breath is when you suddenly feel trouble breathing. The causes in the case are


  • Anaphylaxis- A serious life-threatening allergic reaction.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning- The build-up of carbon monoxide in your bloodstream.
  • Cardiac tamponade- The fluid collection in the sac surrounding the heart causes compression of the heart.
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: It is a sudden worsening of COPD symptoms.
  • Heart arrhythmia: Improper beating of the heart, too fast or too slow.
  • Pneumothorax: The condition of a collapsed lung.
  • Pulmonary embolism: Having a blood clot in an artery in the lung.
  • Sudden blood loss can lead to shortness of breath.
  • Upper airway obstruction: The condition of blockage in the breathing passage.
  • Anemia: A low red blood cell count.
  • Choking
  • If the lungs had inhaled any foreign object.
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome: A rare disorder where the body’s immune system attacks your nerves.
  • Myasthenia gravis


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On the other hand, chronic shortness of breath is the problem that can last for weeks or longer. The condition is often associated with the below-mentioned causes:


  • Asthma


  • Obesity


  • Exacerbation of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)


  • Dysfunction of the heart

Other lung diseases


  • Croup: Infection of upper airways.
  • Pleurisy: The condition of inflammation in the tissues that line the lungs and chest cavity.
  • Interstitial lung disease: Group of disorders that leads to scarring of lungs Pulmonary fibrosis and other interstitial lung diseases
  • Pulmonary edema: Condition which is caused by an excess of fluid in the lungs.
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Sarcoidosis: It is an inflammatory disease that majorly affects the lungs and lymph glands.


Lastly- apart from the above, smoking is the major risk factor. Why? As it is the root cause for diseases that result in shortness of breath. Indulge in regular exercise to get in shape and to cut out obesity. To get an instant appointment or consultation regarding shortness of breath, you can contact us on Whatsapp (+91 9654030724) or email us at connect@gomedii.com, regarding our services. Our team will get back to you as soon as possible.


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